Bose Soundlink III vs Soundlink II vs Soundlink I audiotest

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Soundlink III full review:

Please note that although I tried my best this video can only be a rough representation of how the speakers sound relatively one to each other, depending on the quality of the recording microphone and on the speakers or headphones used for playback. You need to listen to a speaker on your own to really get the best idea of how it sounds in real life.

There is a definite improvement in sound between the Soundlink III and the previous models but as a matter of taste some recordings might even sound better on the old versions, in fact the differences between all 3 models are overall rather marginal and best noticable when compared directly.

All speakers were recorded standing free on a table with volume set to 50% for the first recording part and standing in a shelf near a back wall with volume set to 100% for the second part.

Audio recorded with Zoom H1

(All music from the Youtube audio library)

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31 COMMENTS

  1. soundlink III has a saturation in the highs. it produces overtunes which dont belong there. also it is a very compressed signal when its loud. sounds like a brickwall limiter, not pleasant. ii and i are better in my opinion.

  2. I just bought a used soundlink II and love it. I also bought a Tribit Maxsound Plus based on Oluv's reviews. The Bose has a more refined hi-fidelity sound but the Tribit is not that far behind it so for me the best bargain on the market with a sound quality surpassing many other small speakers under $100 and possible up to $150

  3. Is anyone else notice. The SoundLink 1 and 2 both sound like they have a cloth over the speaker..

    The sound link 3 seems to be much more natural, more dynamic, more Fidelity, and wider frequency response..

    Sounds more like expensive audiophile speakers I am very familiar with owning speakers that cost $5,000 and having my own studio being a musician and sound engineer.

  4. Anyone have a sound link 1 with a flashing red battery light? Tried everything to fix it and no go. Looking for help

  5. Very creative video to compare all models. It reveals the improved evolution of each one, and I definitively like SL3 the most on sound but SL2 on design. I got the SL2 on eBay a couple of years ago and like it very much, I only use it at home. I also have a mini Jambox when I go out and travel light. Thanks for sharing, one of the best comparative videos I have seen and excellent music.

  6. I just bought a Used/But-in-good-condition, Bose SoundLink I and SoundLink Mini II for $25. They sound good. No complaints here.

  7. Being that most sound is subjective, all i can say is that i have always found that the older versions of products last longer and dont contain as many build shortcuts as newer products… as an example, i have has my Version 1 Soundlink since its introduction in 2011, and it has performed flawlessly , usually in the florida heat outside by the pool…. its a great product and i plan to be buried with it.

  8. I own soundlink 2 and i personally prefer with 2 because sound quality is about same as 3 but it has all the protective structures from 1st one

  9. Wow, I cannot understand what everyone is hearing that I am not.  I own none of these but the III sound seems much richer and rounded through my ears over the II or I.  As a matter of fact, although a distinct difference between all 3, the I and II sound most similar to me.

  10. I recently bought a Bose SoundLink at a garage sale and I'm trying to figure out which model it is. 1 or 2? model number is 404600. Thanks in advance

  11. sensational comparison, but I have to ask… If I'm playing this audio over my current SoundLink I, will this video make my Soundlink I sound worse? Is it audio cannibalism?
    I can hear a noticible difference for sure between all three models, so when it gets to SoundLink III i can definitely hear the highs and mis.
    so if I can hear them and see how good they sound through the SoundLink I, I assume that mean the SoundLink III is VERY bright on the actual SoundLink III. I'm thinking in person I'd prefer the SoundLink II then.

  12. glad you used different types of music for this audio test….I & II sounds the same, you can hear the bass more than treble. III has a more crisper sound as in you can hear the highs less bass.

  13. i have my Soundlink II connected Bluetooth to my PC, there is virtually no difference in the sound. im not sure why, when connected with my PC surround system, there is only a slight difference, but not much.

  14. Thanks for posting this. It's somewhat helpful—but unfortunately, the exaggerated bass and sharp backbeat percussion in the particular tracks you chose make it hard to hear how clear the other instruments are. I couldn't turn up the volume very much without the drums and bass being painfully loud and overwhelming. Next time, please consider including a wider selection of music styles, rather than just dance music.

  15. Besitzer der BOSE SoundLink III. Entweder es folgt bald ein Software-Update oder Adiö Blechbüchse! Hervorragende Höhen, schrecklicher Bass und Treble – soetwas Künstliches, Dünnes und Aufgeblähtes hab ich nahezu selten gehört in diesem Preissegment… Das ist einfach Schmerz für meine audiophilen Ohren! Dabei hätte man aus der Größe ein Wunderwerk schaffen können, wie es beim kleinen Bruder der Fall ist! Ganz großer klanglicher Durchfall ist das. Ohrenkrebs bekommt man übrigens, wenn voll aufgedreht wird!

  16. I just upgraded from the 1 to the 3 and I'm very disappointed. The one has a much deeper richer sound while the 3 sounds like my smart phone speakers but louder. If you want the best sound quality go with the 1. If it aint broke dont fix it!

  17. Recently my wife gave me a Bose Soundlink II, which was a bonus from her iPhone lease. I've always been a JBL-HK fan. But this little sucker–the Bose Soundlink II–brought out things I'd never heard before. It's as if Bose has "tuned" these things to bring out the right frequencies, in the process muting some of the others to reduce tonal color clashing or over-saturation. The human voice was so clear I abandoned all captions, and the sounds of footsteps or lighting a match were almost "overly clear." Bass was so noticeable that the use of a subwoofer (which I have) was nullified. Now I understand the fuss about Bose. As a complement to television drama and movies, it's-top notch. It's a relatively "inefficient" speaker, so the more clean watts you have the better, The included amp seems a perfect power-mate for it.

    II vs. III. I'm certainly not hearing a $100 difference(on my Wharfdale Advanced bookshelf speakers). III is a bit more aggressive, maybe louder and wider, but that doesn't prove anything. I usually listen to solo piano–jazz or classical. I know how it should sound. The speaker that best represents it gets my vote. (But use the right audio source. All of those old Rudy Van Gelder recordings for the Blue Note label (I have hundreds) distort the natural sounds of the piano in order to bring out each instrument equally clearly. It's OK for Horace Silver, but it wrecks Bill Evans' touch and sound. Instead, use Mile Davis' "Kind of Blue," (on Columbia-Sony), which starts with acoustic bass, then piano, then ride cymbal. Even before Miles' first note, that tells you all you need to know.

  18. Excellent presentation! I have the Soundlink 1 and have been very happy! I have a hard time understanding the comments below– the sound was indistinguishable… Great video edit!!

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